The Return to the Census of Places of Public Religious Worship for The Seamen’s Church in Rathbone Street was completed by James Garner, the Minister of 16 Elen Gove, Edge Hill. He reports that the building, erected in 1833, held up to 800 people. Average attendance was 350in the morning service and 500 in the evening. Morning and afternoon Sunday school each attracted 120 children.
The chapel was replaced by the well-placed Prince’s Avenue church. It was a brave move financially – see the article in the Christian Messenger magazine – and they left behind some singular memories.
“Well indeed had the Circuit been served in the old Rathbone, Street days, under such veteran and well-known leaders, as the Revs. W. Wilkinson, the brothers James and William Garner, Ambrose Kirkland, Murray Wilson, Joseph Gibson and R.B. Howcroft. And happily there are those still with us who tell with glowing affection of the mighty prayer-meetings carried on after the preaching services in the cellar- schoolroom, so far-famed as to be known in all Liverpool as the “glory-hole.” With all our advance, one envies the fame of a building whose distinctive reputation was, if “sinners entered there they would be sure to get converted.” It is matter of interest that Hall Caine (novelist of fame) with his brother and family, attended the services of Rathbone Street when they resided in Liverpool, thus explaining an interest in our Church which remains until this day!”
Christian Messenger 1913/119